Statement by ACDP MP, Wayne Thring

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

ACDP statement on the Acting Public Protector’s report on Phala Phala

Jul 1, 2023

When the Nkandla scandal broke out, involving former President, Jacob Zuma, the ACDP was vocal in calling him to account. This was based on the simple legal premise that all are equal before the law, the operative word being “all”.

For the ACDP the Phala Phala scandal had a strikingly similar script, only the actors differed. Our position, as a matter of principle, had not changed. We joined other political parties and civil society groups in calling for the former Head of State to be treated as ordinary South Africans would, if there was prima facie evidence of laws being broken. The ACDP did the same with Mr Ramaphosa.

It bears noting that the Section 89 Independent Panel, initiated by Parliament and chaired by former chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, found that Mr. Ramaphosa had a case to answer regarding the dollars stolen from his farm. Regrettably, the ANC used their majority in Parliament to block the recommendations of the Section 89 Panel. An injustice was meted out to the people of South Africa.

With the releasing of the Phala Phala report by acting Public Protector, Kholeka Gcaleka, clearing Mr. Ramaphosa of allegations of misconduct relating to the Limpopo farm, owned by a company that the President is the sole director of, the acting Public Protector has instituted a second injustice to South Africans. The inference from her finding is that some people are more equal than others, as the law is not applied equally.

The finding by the acting Public Protector, that there was no conflict of interest, no abuse of power, and that the President received no remuneration from the farm, can be viewed as sweeping the evidence under the carpet. The ACDP believes that the finding against the Presidential Protection Service Head Major General Wally Rhoode, that he was not authorised to conduct an investigation into the burglary on the farm, is simply to use him as a scape goat.

The ACDP will continue engaging with other political parties and interest groups in ensuring that the President is held to account.


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